Retired lawmakers pen letter to Delaware governor opposing Medicare Advantage plan

Delaware State News | by Joseph Edelen In a letter released to the public Thursday, 27 former Delaware lawmakers urged Gov. John Carney not to adopt a Medicare Advantage plan for state pensioner health care coverage. The communication advises the governor and his administration that the state’s $8.8 billion underfunded liability for retiree health care “should not be the only consideration in your decision-making.” Gov. Carney’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2024 features a one-time appropriation of $51 million to address that liability. The former legislators who signed the letter […]

Delaware public employees and public retirees require health benefits

The News Journal | Opinion | by Elisa Diller and Connie Merlet This is an open letter to Gov. John Carney about health care benefits for State of Delaware retirees and employees. Dear Gov. John Carney: During your recent budget address, you seemed to be surprised that healthcare costs money. A lot of money. We are not surprised. We know that health care is expensive and that as a benefit it is just as important to most state workers as their pension plan. Most current retirees accepted the low state […]

Senate passes bill pertaining to state retiree benefits

Cape Gazette A bill expanding membership to committees tasked with state employee benefit issues passed the Senate Jan. 18 by a 17-3 vote. Senate Bill 29 expands the membership of the State Employee Benefits Committee by adding a state retiree to the committee and adding an additional representative from public sector union organizations, and the bill establishes the Retiree Healthcare Benefits Advisory Subcommittee with membership that includes three state retirees and four members of the General Assembly. It also requires the controller general to provide comprehensive biannual public reports to […]

Bill to increase retiree voice in health care talks passes Delaware Senate

Bay to Bay News | by Joseph Edelen Amid continued concern from state retirees, Senate lawmakers voted to establish pensioner involvement in the development of retirement health care benefits on Wednesday. Prime sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, Senate Bill 29 seeks to bolster state retiree involvement in the decision-making process ahead of the expiration of the current Medicare supplement plan offered through Jan. 1, 2024. The legislation features co-sponsorship from each member of Democratic and Republican leadership in both houses of Delaware’s General Assembly. Under SB 29, membership […]

Delaware Senate passes bill addressing proposed changes to state retiree benefits, some retirees oppose the legislation

Delaware Public Media | by Rachel Sawicki A bill seeking to address concerns about proposed changes to state retirees health care benefits passed the State Senate Wednesday. State Senators voted 17-3 in favor of the bill – with 1 ‘absent.’ If it also clears the House, it would add a state retiree and an additional representative from public sector unions to the State Employee Benefits Committee. It also establishes an advisory subcommittee that will include three state retirees and four members of the General Assembly, which would evaluate options allowing […]

UD’s Offshore Riches

Delaware Call | by Jordan Howell The University of Delaware has moved hundreds of millions of dollars into offshore investments while also seeking state funds, raising tuition. State FOIA laws keep that information from the public Over the past decade — during which University of Delaware officials have requested more than a billion dollars in taxpayer funds from the General Assembly to support in-state scholarships, construction projects, and even general operations — the state’s flagship university has quietly shifted hundreds of millions of dollars to investments overseas, according to a […]

Letter to the Editor: Fight against Medicare Advantage plan has only just begun

State retirees are now receiving a mailing from the state Pensions Office notifying us that there will be no changes to our coverage through Dec. 31, 2023. It seems like a victory — no Medicare Advantage plan, no loss of our funds if we opt out. The key word is “seems.” The fight to stop this Medicare Advantage mandate, protect your insurance funds and to prevent this from happening again has just begun. The State Employee Benefits Committee was compelled to comply with the Superior Court order to delay implementation […]

Delaware General Assembly to welcome nine new legislators following election

Bay to Bay News | by Joseph Edelen With the additions to Delaware’s General Assembly now clear, the legislature will see little change in the balance of Democratic power when it begins its next session in January 2023. As many lawmakers left to seek new opportunities or retirement, and some falling short in their primary or general elections, there have been several implications on the makeup of the Senate and House of Representatives. Following the general election Tuesday, the House gained six new faces, while the Senate will have three. […]

Romer elected to replace Kowalko in District 25

Newark Post | by Josh Shannon and Matt Smith Voters in the 25th House District chose Democrat Cyndie Romer to replace longtime incumbent John Kowalko, who did not seek re-election. Romer defeated Republican Lynn Mey 65 percent to 35 percent in Tuesday’s election. “I’m feeling very optimistic and grateful for the opportunity to represent the Newark area and ready to get to work and do a good job,” Romer said Tuesday night. She attributed her victory to her effort to knock on doors and meet constituents. “It was amazing to […]

General Assembly cancels plan to discuss Medicare Advantage oversight in special session

Delaware Public Media | by Paul Kiefer Delaware’s General Assembly will not convene for a special session Wednesday to discuss the controversial plan to transfer retired state employees from Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan administered by Highmark Delaware. Lawmakers were scheduled to reconvene to consider a bill that would have provided additional oversight of the transition — a way for the state to track whether retirees were more often denied coverage under the Medicare Advantage plan than under their current plans, for example. That changed after a Superior Court […]